found Michael Earl Davis guilty of felony murder and other
crimes arising out of a home invasion and the shooting death
of Nicolas Jackson II. On appeal, Davis contends that the trial
court erred in striking a prospective juror over his
objection. We affirm for the reasons set forth below.
in a light most favorable to the verdicts, the evidence shows
the following. In August 2011, Kevell Ross asked his
stepbrother, Timothy Johnson, to "get some guys
together" for the purpose of burglarizing the Jackson
residence in Gwinnett County. Ross believed that there was
valuable jewelry and at least $1 million in cash in the
contacted Darrez Chandler in September 2011, and they began
to plan the crime. After an aborted attempt in December 2011,
they assembled another crew and returned to the Jackson
residence on February 2, 2012. On the way, they picked up
"two younger guys," Reco West and Davis. According
to Johnson, Davis got into the van with a gun, which he
immediately began "clicking [and] getting . . .
ready." When questioned by crew member Eddie Green,
Davis and West acknowledged that they had been apprised of
"what [was] up."
drove to the scene in a silver van carrying Jason Dozier,
Anthony Lumpkin, Green, West, and Davis. Chandler remained in
a nearby parking lot in his Pontiac with instructions to stay
on the phone and let the others know if the police came. When
the van arrived at the Jackson residence, Dozier, Lumpkin,
West, and Davis, each carrying a handgun, exited and walked
to the basement door. Johnson and Green remained in the van.
time, 15-year-old Nicolas Jackson and his older sister, Nikia
Jackson, had returned home from school. When Lumpkin kicked
the basement door open, the four men entered the house and
Nicolas ran to his bedroom in the basement. Lumpkin and
Dozier fired their weapons through the bedroom door. Nicolas
suffered a fatal gunshot wound to his chest. The four
intruders fled the Jackson home and returned to the van
driven by Johnson. Dozier was carrying a laptop computer bag.
Shortly after Johnson drove away, Lumpkin announced to the
others that the victim was "bucking" and that he
"had to shoot" him.
the intruders entered her home through the basement, Nikia
was watching television in her room on the third floor. She
heard what she thought was the sound of her brother bouncing
a basketball and left her room to investigate. After walking
downstairs into the living room, she looked outside and saw a
silver van driving away. She called 911, and subsequently
found Nicolas collapsed behind his bedroom door.
of Norcross police officer stopped the van shortly after the
shooting. Lumpkin and West ran away on foot, but they were
taken into custody a few minutes later, as were the four men
who remained in the van. Police recovered four handguns from
inside or near the vehicle. A laptop computer missing from
the Jackson residence was in the van. Testing showed gunshot
residue on the hands of Davis, Dozier, Lumpkin, and West.
Gunshot residue was not found on either Johnson or Green.
trial, Davis testified in his own defense. According to
Davis, he got into the van because Green asked him to ride
with him in order "to handle something." Davis
maintained that he and Green rode together as matter of
routine when Green, a drug dealer, went to collect money.
Once they arrived at their destination, Davis said, he stayed
in the van with Green and did not enter the house. Davis
explained that he got gunshot residue on his hands when
Dozier later tried to pass him a gun.
Davis does not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence.
However, as is our custom in murder cases, we have reviewed
the record to determine if the evidence was legally
sufficient. We conclude that the evidence presented at trial,
as summarized above, was sufficient to authorize the jury to
find Davis guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crimes of
which he was convicted. Jackson v. Virginia, 443
U.S. 307, 319 (III) (B) (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560)
(1979). See also OCGA § 16-2-20 (defining party to a
crime); Navarrete v. State, 283 Ga. 156, 158 (1)
(656 S.E.2d 814) (2008) (a jury may infer common criminal
intent from the defendant's presence, companionship, and
conduct with other perpetrators before, during, and after the
Davis contends that the trial court erred when it granted the
State's motion to strike a prospective juror over his
objection. Specifically, he contends the trial court
improperly questioned the juror regarding a topic not covered
in OCGA § 15-12-164 (a). He also contends that the trial
court improperly excused the juror for cause based on the
State's argument that she could not be fair and
record shows that during questioning of the venire by the
trial court, Juror 36 raised her card in an affirmative
response when the trial court asked whether anyone had
"something going on in your personal life that would
prevent you from giving your full attention to this case if
selected[.]" When Davis's attorney asked the venire
if anyone had an economic or familial hardship, Juror 36
again gave an affirmative response.
individual questioning, the prosecutor asked Juror 36 a
series of questions about her family members who had been
arrested and charged with a crime. The prosecutor did not ask
Juror 36 about her hardship and Davis's counsel declined
to question the juror. The trial court, however, asked Juror
36 to describe the nature of her hardship. Juror 36 explained
that, the day before, her brother had died in Mississippi
from throat cancer. She said that she believed that the
funeral would occur that weekend, although she had not
"talked to anyone today because [she had] been
State subsequently moved to strike Juror 36 on "two
bases." First, the prosecutor pointed to the
"late-described hardship" and the funeral
arrangements for her brother that would take Juror 36 out of
the state. Secondly, the prosecutor asked that Juror 36 be
struck for cause in that she could not be a fair and
impartial juror. The prosecutor argued that the juror had
described her family members as having been "unfairly
handled by the system," that she had maintained that she
had not been treated ...